Skip to main content
11:00 pm
bit? >> well, i'm kind of nervous and kind of excited. >> been able to sleep? >> well, a little bit. >> yeah? what do your buds think of you? >> some of them are kind of -- a lot of them are happy for me, but some of them are kind of jealous. >> well done, casey. by the way, casey's winning essay was about his charity for the homeless. i'm don lemon. see you back here next weekend. good night. from jackson square in new orleans, top republicans came to the city to lay the groundwork for the november election. two years after their near-death experience in the presidential election, the party envisions a comeback of historic proportions. >> we have a chance in the next three years to fundamentally reset american government and american politics, i think, for the first time since 1953. >> they're invigorated by the
11:01 pm
takeover of senator ted kennedy's senate see and fueled by the hottest ticket in politics. >> what's wrong with being the party of no? we will oppose it. or better said by the good governor of this state, he said, party of no? no. we're the party of, hell, no! >> reporter: they came on the weekend of the french quarter festival, five years after new orleans' near-death experience, they, too, envisioned a comeback of historic proportions. a comeback chronicled in a television series that premieres tonight, produced by the creator of the acclaimed series, "the wire." >> the levees weren't blown, the flood gates failed, the canal failed, the pumps failed. >> are you suggesting criminal liability? >> absolutely. find the responsible parties and put them on trial. >> reporter: for republicans and for new orleans, great expectations with many hurdles. i'm candy crowley and this is "state of the union." this morning, we begin with
11:02 pm
governor haley barbour, the man who led the republican party the last time it captured the house and senate. and a close look at the woman that has become the most electrifying republican. is she running? actor wendel pierce and producer david simon. why a major television series about a disaster, all from new orleans. and now, the chairman of the republican governors' association, haley barbour of mississippi. we met him in the patio of a classic french quarter restaurant, broussards. governor, a lot of what we heard at the southern republican leadership conference has been about how good it looks this november. how good does it look this november for republicans? >> candy, the political environment for republicans this first half of april 2010 is better than it was the first half of april 1994, when we won 54 seats in the house, took control of the house, the senate, and more than 30
11:03 pm
governorships. >> you going to take control of the house and the senate? >> we would today. the problem is, the election is not today. >> don't you wish? >> that's why i make the point, today the environment is better than it was in '94. developed in a little different way. the people of this country are very agitated, republicans are energized, and the independents are talking like, thinking like, and planning to vote like republicans. >> the governor is going to stick with us for the next several moments. we want to take a quick break. we'll be back with more on politics with the governor of mississippi. hi, folks. how are you doing?
11:04 pm
i'm out here talking about osteoporosis. with osteoporosis, you can still look and feel healthy. i know. that's me. on the inside, your bones can weaken over time, making you vulnerable to fracture. what can she do? ask your doctor how to help treat osteoporosis with once-a-month actonel. actonel is clinically proven to help reverse bone loss and can help increase bone strength to help prevent fractures. do not take actonel if you have esophagus problems, low blood calcium, severe kidney disease, or cannot sit or stand for 30 minutes. follow all dosing instructions. stop taking actonel and tell your doctor if you experience difficult or painful swallowing, chest pain, or severe or continuing heartburn. these may be signs of serious upper digestive problems.
11:05 pm
promptly tell your doctor if you develop severe bone, joint, or muscle pain, or develop dental problems as serious jaw ÷ne problems have been reported rarely. to get a free trial offer of once-a-month actonel, visit actonel.com and ask your doctor how once-a-month actonel can help you reverse bone loss. we have a retirement on the supreme court. justice stevens is leaving. how does that fit into the fall campaign? we're already hearing some republicans say, the president better not do that, he better not do that, but this is a very hot issues for republicans, is it not? >> well, look, the president is going to appoint a liberal
11:06 pm
successor to justice stevens, who is one of the most liberal members of the supreme court. >> but the president has to do that, does he not? >> everybody here, everybody watching your show understands that the president is going to appoint the most liberal person he can, that he thinks he can get confirmed. and that that person will be a liberal. that's just a fact. do i think it will affect the election? only to the sense that it reminds the american people of something that they already know. that this is far and away the most liberal administration that we've ever had in the white house and, candidly, in the congress. >> and so you see that they can use -- i mean, obviously, it will probably be done by november, but this has always been a big rallying cry, i think, to get people to the polls, particularly republicans. >> yeah, for both sides. for both sides. you know, the pro-abortion people have used the supreme court to stoke up their supporters and the conservatives going way back to earl warren
11:07 pm
have made it a cause celebre for trying to energize their people. the good thing for republicans right now is we've got plenty of energy. the policies of this administration and this congress has energized our people. >> what's the smart thing to do for the senate? do they push back, no matter who this nominee is, or does that just make them look more like the party of no that the democrats are trying to hang on them? >> i'm not worried about the party of no, as long as the american people know we're saying no to bad policies. in this case, we don't even know who the president is going to nominate. we know it's going to be a liberal, but you can't decide what your reaction or response is going to be. have to see who he nominates. >> one of the opening day speakers here was former congressman newt gingrich and i want you to listen to what he had to say. >> the president of the united states, the most radical president in american history -- >> you agree with that? >> to the degree is he talking about the most left wing, the
11:08 pm
most left-wing policies being pursued? there's no question that's correct. if the issue is -- >> like what, in general? what makes this a radical president? >> the most left wing is about spending. i mean, he's proposed a $3.8 trillion budget with $1.6 trillion deficit. the whole budget in 1997 when newt gingrich was speaker of the house, the whole budget wasn't but $1.6 trillion. yet they're proposing $1.3 trillion deficit, $1.4 trillion deficit, $1.6 trillion deficit in the first three years of the obama administration -- >> but governor, that's not all his deficit. a lot of that came from george w. bush. >> yeah, about $400 billion of it. if you look at what the deficit was for the first fiscal year, about $400 billion was run up during the clinton administration -- i mean, the bush administration, and the other $1 billion -- the other $1 trillion -- you know, candy, it's hard for us normal people to talk about trillions. they're spending trillions and
11:09 pm
trillions and trillions. this health care is going to be an enormously expensive proposal and everybody in america knows it's not going to be budget neutral. >> you know, you -- one of the things i think that catches people's ear is the word "radic "radical." is that helpful to the kind of dialogue that should be in politics? and is it helpful to republicans who still fight the image of being kind of mean old white guys? >> you know, my life in politics, i've always told people to speak tempertly and act boldly. radical is not a term that i use very often to describe anything, but there is no question, as a matter of fact, that the policies being pursued by the obama administration are the farthest left -- it's been a gigantic lurch to the left and i think that's what speaker gingrich was trying to convey.
11:10 pm
b but, you know, the words i would use are the most left wing, because that's what the truth is. >> let me ask you about sympathetic else and just kind of the tone of politics. virginia governor, new virginia governor, bob mcdonnell, designated april as confederate month, something that his two democratic predecessors had refrained from doing. this caused quite a stir, particularly because the governor did not even mention slavery in this proclamation. was that a mistake? >> well, i don't think so. my state legislature has made a legislatively enacted holiday, confederate memorial day, have done it for years under republican governors, democrat governors, and for seven years as governor, i have issued a proclamation, because of what the legislature's done. my democratic predecessors did so as well. i don't know what you would say about slavery, but anybody that thinks you have to explain to people that slavery is a bad thing, i think goes without saying. >> but the sensitivity of it. because we heard from a number
11:11 pm
of african-american politicians and just people on the street that were interviewed in virginia going, this is offensive, to celebrate something that really was about slavery and have absolutely no mention of it. what do you do in your state? >> well, maybe they should talk about the democratic legislature, which has done exactly the same thing in mississippi for years. and as far as i know, the democratic legislature, we have a majority in both houses are democrats, i'm unaware of them being criticized for it or them having their supporters feel uncomfortable with it. >> you know what i'm trying to get at here, that there's the sort of feeling that it's insensitive. but you clearly don't agree? >> to me, it's the sort of feeling that it's a nit. that it is not significant, that it is not -- he's trying to make a big deal out of something that doesn't amount to diddly. >> i wanted to ask you about health care reform, which you mentioned a little earlier. part of this is going to include
11:12 pm
an expansion of medicaid. how are you going to pay for that in mississippi? >> well, that's the problem. if this, in fact, becomes law and goes into effect out in the four or five years from now, when it's supposed to go into effect, it's going to cost mississippi state's government $150 million to $250 million, and we don't have that money. >> are you going to have to raise taxes? >> it is, in fact, a tax increase on the people of mississippi and virtually every other state. states like california and the billions of dollars per year, for us, a couple of hundred million dollars per year. and the fact is we don't have the money and expanding medicaid -- we're going to expand it by about 50% in my state. we're going to go from about 650,000 people on medicaid to more than 1 million people on medicaid. candidly, candy, if somebody had proposed last year self-standing, without any other legislation, hey, i got a great idea. let's put about 15 million
11:13 pm
people on medicaid, what would the american people have said? that's a craziest idea i've ever heard of. medicaid's always in financial trouble. it is not like government -- it's not like the federal employees' health benefit plan, i can tell you that. >> what's the most realistic way -- you have joined forces with those that think, we are going to go to court on this. we think it's unconstitutional. is that the way to go at this, or is it more like senator mcconnell, the republican leader in the senate saying, look, this is about repeal and replace. because so many people have said, this lawsuit is going to where. >> well, there are those of us in a number of states that believe the constitution when it says it's limited government. that the powers of the federal government are limited by the constitution, and there is nothing in the constitution, including in the commerce clause, that gives the federal government the power to force individual citizens to buy any produ
11:14 pm
product, a product called health insurance that has to be designed just like the federal government wants, or any other product. suppose, candy, that we conservatives said everybody in america needs to buy a gun because national security and homeland security would be clearly better if our policy was adopted and that's the policy. you have to buy a gun. what would the liberals say to that? >> i know you have said you're not going to criticize michael steele. you, yourself, were in his position during a very advantageous time for republicans, when you -- the last time they won the full house in the senate. but do you think looking at the situation around michael steele that he can survive? as head of the party? >> i expect him to be head of the party for the rest of his term. >> until not one of those, let's just keep him through the election, you know, and at the end, he really ought to go? >> well, his term ends in january of next year. i was chairman of the rnc. i served two two-year terms.
11:15 pm
there were people critical of me. that's part of it. but, no, i expect michael steele will serve out his term. >> one of the things that the chairman said when he was talking on another network is that he thought he was being held to a higher standard because he's black. do you think that's true? >> no. that's like me saying i think i'm held to a higher standard because i'm a fat redneck with an accent like this. the fact of the matter is, in that job, people are judged by results. and that's just the way it is. that's the way it was for me. that's the way it was for everybody since then. i do think it's not right for a former chairman to critique his predecessors -- i mean, says successors. i mean, i just don't think that's something that i ought to do. i kind of feel the same way president reagan was about future presidents. he just did not -- he didn't think it was right for him to critique them or criticize them.
11:16 pm
>> what about sarah palin? she electrified this conference, and yet when you look outside of the totality of the country, she really stirs up a lot of negative emotions as well. do you think she's qualified to be president right now? do you think she's had the background and the experience, if she does run, to be qualified for the job? >> well, of course, i don't think president obama had the background and experience to be qualified, so the fact of the matter is, she is legally qualified and after that, it's up to the american people, just like it was for senator obama, now president obama. >> have you ever felt this sort of angry kind of country that we now -- you can feel it when you're out there. i think you see it with -- on both the left and the right. is this reminiscent to you of any period in time when you lived through as a politician? >> yeah. there's a history in this country of people being vehement, sometimes to the point of being terrible, awful,
11:17 pm
indefensible, stupid, so that's gone on in this country long before haley barbour was around and since then. people today, though, more than any time i've ever seen in my political career are scared. they're scared that the policies of this administration and congress are going to keep their children and grandchildren from having the opportunities they had. and people are genuinely scared of that. that is no excuse for being uncivil. much less threatening somebody. >> governor, i can't thank you enough for coming by. it seems a little weird to come to louisiana to talk to the governor of mississippi, but we're awfully glad you came. >> it was tough to be here without a bloody mary, i can tell you that. >> let me see what i can do. thank you very much. >> thank you, candy. up next, the palin factor. in brief, republicans here are crazy about her. i'm gonna take allison jenkins to the senior prom
11:18 pm
in this. one day, i'll park this in a spot reserved for me. it's got 26,000 miles on it now, but i'm gonna take it to a thousand million. [ male announcer ] when you own a certified pre-owned mercedes-benz, chances are they'll own it one day, too. which is why it undergoes such a rigorous inspection to meet our uncompromising standards. one day, i'm gonna drive this to vegas. [ male announcer ] hurry in to your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for 1.99% financing during our certified pre-owned sales event through april 30th. during our certified pre-owned
11:19 pm
and you'll dump your old broom. but don't worry, he'll find someone else. ♪ who's that lady? ♪ who's that lady? ♪ sexy lady ♪ who's that lady? [ female announcer ] swiffer sweeper's electrostatic dry cloths attract and lock dirt, dust, and hair on contact to clean 50% more than a broom. it's a difference you can feel. swiffer gives cleaning a whole new meaning. ♪
11:20 pm
they are feeling awfully good here in new orleans going into the 2010 elections. republicans believe the issues are on their side and they think the numbers back them up. since the mccain/palin defeat, a low point for republicans, the party has made a slow, steady turnaround to the point where the number of americans who view the gop favorably roughly matches the number who view the party unfavorably. even better for the faithful, the percentage of americans who now believe republicans would be better at handling the economy than democrats has gone up nine points since august. confidence in the democrats has gone down seven. in october, democrats had an edge on voters' choice for congress, gone now because of a significant shift in independents. six months ago, independent voters were evenly split wean democrats and republicans. today, the indyes lean heavily
11:21 pm
toward the republicans, 53-35. business card says, vr you're in the business of you. and only you know where you want that business to go. devry university's keller graduate school of management... offers 15 different mba concentrations, designed to match both the realities... of today's business world and your career ambitions. 85 locations nationwide and online. discover how to grow the business of you... at keller.edu.
11:22 pm
11:23 pm
there were plenty of potential 2012ers who showed up at this new orleans republican meeting from pence to perry, gingrich to barbour, but there was only one bell of the ball, al be it, one with very sharp elbows. >> the governor sarah palin. >> reporter: there's something about sarah that keeps conservatives on their feet and her name in the headlines. maybe it's that cheery defiance. >> when they say, yes, we can, we stand up and say, oh, no, you don't. >> reporter: even, perhaps especially, when it comes to the president, who recently dismissed palin's credentials to criticize his nuclear weapons policy. >> if the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff are comfortable with it, i'm probably going to take my advice from them and not from sarah palin. >> now, the president, with all the vast nuclear experience that he acquired as a community
11:24 pm
organizer and as a part-time senator and as a full-time candidate, all that experience, still no accomplishment to date with north korea and iran. >> reporter: in the hallways outside the main ballroom, we cornered republican players about the hottest ticket in the party. >> i think they're looking for somebody who can say, you know, yes, i'll stand up and fight against these bad policies and who is committed to putting the right policies in place. >> whether that's translated later into something bigger or whether she's just a very significant person for the rest of her life, she is a real player. nobody should underestimate her. >> americans are tired of milk toast. they don't want somebody in the mushy middle. >> she's had more impact as an unelected person than anybody i've seen in my 30 years in politics. >> reporter: palin's detractors call her vapid, naive, inexperienced. she responds with that in-your-face defiance, especially when the media is involved. >> democracy depends on you.
11:25 pm
and that is why -- that's why our troops are willing to die for you. so, how about in honor of the american soldier, you quit making things up. >> reporter: supporters dismiss the criticism as a failure to understand. >> look, someone made the comment that she is an authentic product of wasilla, alaska. that she's a frontier person more than a suburban person. and i think that if you are, you know, a san francisco liberal, she just drives you crazy, because she's clearly a total feminist, i mean, in the true sense of feminism, she is her own person, she does her own thing, she does it her way. it's just, she does it in a way if you're part of the liberal elite, it's everything you tried to leave. >> real people understand that if someone with as many kids as she has and has such a normal life that she had can step into
11:26 pm
the arena, can get engaged, she gives them a road map. it's about something bigger than her. this is not some -- i think the press tends to think of it as some cult following and it's not. it's, if she can do it, i can do it. it's an inspiration thing. it really, really transcends her, but she is the road map. she is the mom who did it. >> there is a "me, too," you know, when she's talking, when she has presented herself, i think what she did in alaska, i think there is kind of a "me, too" about her, that people, good, bad, or indifferent, they like it. >> that "me, too," has turned sarah palin into a brand and a woman making big bucks. where from here? more from her colleagues when we come back. i think i'll go with the preferred package.
11:27 pm
11:28 pm
11:29 pm
good choice. only meineke lets you choose the brake service that's right for you. and save 50% on pads and shoes. meineke.
11:30 pm
sarah palin burst on to the national scene as the hockey mom turned governor turned vice presidential candidate, in less than two years, the public perception of her has changed dramatically. when she brought the republican faithful to their feet, palin's favorability outpaced her unfavorability by 30 points. a month later after tina fey's "saturday night live" parodies and a fumbled interview with cbs' katie couric, doubts seeped in. her favorables slipped to 46%. her negatives surpassed her positives. by july 2009, after resigning the governorship, people's impression of palin eroded, down to 40%. after hitting the trail to sell her book by march 2010, while throngs of conservatives hung on her every word, the general public was less enthused. her favorability/unfavorability numbers had nearly flipped from palin's 2008 high water mark, just 37% of americans see sarah palin favorably. love her or hate her, a couple
11:31 pm
of figures only add to her mystique. 12 and 2.2 million, that's the number of weeks "going rogue" was on "the new york times" best seller list and the number of copies sold. more of her fellow republicans on palin in a moment. it was a horrible feeling, like i couldn't catch my breath. i couldn't believe i was actually having a heart attack. i remember being at the hospital, thinking about my wife. i should have done more to take care of myself. now i'm exercising, watching my diet, and i trust my heart to lipitor.
11:32 pm
[ male announcer ] along with diet, lipitor is fda approved to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and certain kinds of heart surgeries in patients with several common risk factors or heart disease. lipitor is backed by over 17 years of research. lipitor is not for everyone, including people with liver problems p9 and women who are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant. you need simple blood tests to check for liver problems. tell your doctor if you are taking other medications or if you have any muscle pain or weakness. is may be a sign of a rare but serious side effect. i'll never forget what i went through. don't take your health for granted. [ male announcer ] have a heart to heart with your doctor about your risk and about lipitor. what are you really buying? a shiny coat of paint? a list of features? what about the strength of the steel? the integrity of its design... or how it responds... in extreme situations? the deeper you look, the more you see the real differences. and the more you understand what it means to own a mercedes-benz.
11:33 pm
the c-class. see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for exceptional offers through mercedes-benz financial. ♪ not many people bet that sarah palin would fade away after the election, and she didn't. >> let's empower states to find the best solutions. they need flexibility, that's what they need. they need respect for the tenth amendment too, but they need the flexibility to see what works best. and shoot, look at texas -- i said "shoot," i'm sorry. >> reporter: she's a politician who crossed into the celebrity
11:34 pm
zone, making gobs of money, creating her own public space with maximum exposure and minimum risk. she has a lucrative and safe role as a fox news commentator. >> because in america, anything is possible. >> reporter: she has put her brand on "real american stories: tales of triumph." thumbs down from the eastern media. "the new york times" says her performance was as cheery and bland as any news anchors in the mainstream media she deplores. give it five minutes and it'll evaporate right in front of your eyes, said "time" magazine. the audience has doubled in the time slot. she also plans to host eight specials on sarah palin's alaska for discovery's tlc channel, scripted, safe. so, too, her appearance here in new orleans before adoring party activists, anxious to get her autograph and feed off her
11:35 pm
electricity. does palin need the party as much as the party needs palin? is she out to make money or out to make change? does he want to live as a private citizen or run for president? what's next for sarah? >> what she's been doing, and her role has been, and she's been very impactful at it, inserting those base principles that are at the heart of conservatism. she knows how to say them in ways that people can understand them and repeat them. >> i know there are people out there who politically attack her because they're afraid of her. they're afraid that she is a political force and is the easiest and best way to get rid of someone you're afraid of is to destroy them. >> let's say she just says, no, i'm not interested in 2012, then what's her role? >> well, some people manage by ideas, by energy, by drive. you know, teddy kennedy lost the presidential nomination to jimmy carter in 1980, and yet teddy was for 30 years one of the dominant figures in the
11:36 pm
democratic party. and i think that she has the potential to fill a niche for a very long time, particularly in an age of cable television and talk radio, when you can build your particular market and your audience and they can love you and come to your meetings and do things with you, and she's done, the last couple of months, i think she's been very impressive. >> reporter: do you think she'll run in 2012? >> it's my guess, it's everybody's guess. i honestly don't -- personal opinion, way too early, but if you're asking me today to make a decision, you know, 2 1/2 years down the road, which is virtually impossible to do, but if you're twisting my arm to say give me a yes or no answer, i say no, and the reason i don't think she will, i think she has, and this is just my personal opinion, i think she's positioned herself to be a kingmaker, probably not the king. >> reporter: she'd be a worthy opponent in 2012, you think? >> well, i mean, if my choice
11:37 pm
was sarah palin or barack obama, i'd rather have sarah palin. >> reporter: what if your choice was newt gingrich or sarah palin? >> i can't comment, that'd be silly. >> okay, then, just for giggles, we report to you the results of the straw poll of 1,800 activists here at this conference. the presidential preference winner is the man who wasn't there, former massachusetts governor mitt romney. romney and, just behind romney by one vote, congressman ron paul, both triumphs of organization over celebrity. as for a palin/gingrich showdown, it was palin coming in third overall with gingrich nine votes behind. and we didn't want to leave sarah palin subject without sharing some of last night's "saturday night live," where tina fey reprised her role as the former alaska governor. >> it just seemed like the next logical step was to launch my own network. if you like fun, you're just going to love our afternoon block of game shows.
11:38 pm
at 2:00 p.m., it's tea party wheel of fortune. and at 2:30, catch me in "are you smarter than a half-term governor?" i think you'll be surprised by the answer. i know i was. up next, our discussion with an actor and the creator of a powerful new hbo series about post-katrina life here in new orleans.
11:39 pm
♪ [ researcher ] if you're using the leading sensitivity toothpaste, you may be missing some of the protection you need for a healthy mouth. with crest pro-health toothpastes, you don't need to make that trade-off. [ sela ] crest pro-health is the first and only leading toothpaste to protect against sensitivity and all these areas dentists check most. and with crest pro-health sensitive shield, you get a smoother formula. sensitivity protection and more for a healthy mouth. new crest pro-health sensitive shield. why are my numbers all over the place? are you looking for answers? the accu-chek aviva system
11:40 pm
now has new tools to help you discover what your numbers mean and how the things you do are connected to your blood sugar patterns. [ michelle ] with this tool i can see how food and the time of day affect my numbers. i discovered how to wake up feeling great. [ male announcer ] discover the accu-chek aviva system and save with a prescription discount card. start your discovery today. five years ago, president bush stood here in jackson square and promised that the nation would help rebuild new orleans. he used the symbolism of a jazz funeral. >> the funeral procession parades slowly through the streets, followed by a band playing a mournful dirge as it
11:41 pm
moves to the cemetery. once the casket has been laid in place, the band breaks into a joyful second line, symbolizing the triumph of the spirit over death. tonight, the gulf coast is still coming through the dirge, yet we will live to see the second line. >> reporter: a year later, the city remained devastated. now approaching the fifth anniversary of katrina, parts of the brutalized ninth ward are a long way from rebuilt. ♪ tonight, the television premiere begins with the second line. the hbo series looks at the resilience of new orleans' largely through its musicians, who refused to give up on a city they believe has a unique culture and tradition. ♪ a number of the actors are new orleans natives. the series captures the pain of
11:42 pm
starting again. >> you can't stay here, daddy. i hate this, why do we even -- >> just wait. >> clark peter plays albert lambreaux, whose children begs him to give up on new orleans. his son asks him, you think you're staying? and he says, no, i know i am. hbo is another division of cnn's parent company, time warner. >> action! >> reporter: shooting is still continuing for labor episodes, so we caught up with creator david simon and actor wendel pierce in the french quarter. i wanted to start out with something, i read a quote from you. either we have something to say or we don't. what do you have to say? >> it's about culture. the last show, "the wire," was about how power and money route themselves in an american city. this is really about what we're capable of as an american people. americans are decidedly an american people.
11:43 pm
we're only going to get more urban as the century goes on. and we're very ambivalent about that. there's a lot of negative connotations associated with city living. but i actually think that's really the question for the next century, is how we're going to live together, compacted as we are in cities, multiculturally, you know, this is -- new orleans is the triumph of the creole, of -- we're the mutts. we are the beautiful people who are americans. and new orleans is a triumph in that sense. >> if you are not from new orleans, and much of the country has moved on, rightly or wrongly from katrina, what is in this that brings you to this series? >> well, as david was saying, the culture of new orleans is something that is a part of our daily lives, more than any other place that i've ever been, and i
11:44 pm
live here in new orleans, new york, and los angeles. and you know, when we ask about our day, if i call home, like, how was your day, the response is, well, it was pretty good. we had red beans for lunch, you know and we're going to have some baked chicken and do shrimp creole for dinner. so we talk about our cuisine and say, a little bit later i'll go here on frenchman street. so it's going to be a good day. so it's on the front burner of our lives. it's very impactful. and i think when you understand that culture is an intersection between people and how they deal with life, that that's the place we reflect on our past, hope for our future. you know, then you understand its importance, what thoughts are to an individual. that's what culture should be for a community as a whole. and i think we in new orleans understand that and america could learn a lesson from us. >> you know, david, there's a scene in the movie where the british reporter is talking about, why should we care about
11:45 pm
new orleans? >> why should the american taxpayer foot the bill to fix new orleans? it's going to cost billions. >> well, since when don't nations rebuild their great cities? >> for the sake of argument, with let's say new orleans was once a great city. >> are you saying new orleans is not a great city? a city that lives in the imagination of the world? >> i suppose if you're a fan of the music, which has rather seen its day, let's be honest, or the food, a provincial cuisine that many would say is too american. and of course new orleans has its advocates, but what about the rest of the country? >> hmm, provincial, passe, hate the food, hate the music, hate the city. what the [ muted ] are you doing down here, you [ muted ] vulture. >> john goodman, he spoke for a
11:46 pm
lot of people, who felt left behind. which was the single most engineering failure in history. the hurricane missed new orleans, the flooding did not. and since that moment, the federal response to it has been to meager and so grudging and there have been so many comments from around the country about, you know, why rebuild new orleans? it's below sea level, isn't it? great societies rebuild their great cities. and the response has left new orleanians looking at a different life. culture is what brought this city back. one crawfish buffet at a time. one st. joseph night at a time. one second line at a time. that's what brought new orleans back. >> the second line tradition comes out as a pleasure club. we understand the pleasure. the social aid part is very important. that was the beginning of
11:47 pm
activism in this country, the beginning of the civil rights movement. you know, denied as people of color to buy burial plots or get insurance, we put together social aid and pleasure clubs, where you contributed to them, so if your mama took ill, candy, we got you. when your daddy dies, we're going to send him off real nice. we're going to have a second line. that's the understanding of where the culture comes from and how culture plays an impactful part of everyday life that no one knows about and no one talks about in america, and i say, once again, new orleans is going to teach you a great lesson. >> let me ask you about politics and drama, and which of those, when you began to formulate this, is the dominant feature, as far as you're concerned? >> well, you begin with character and you begin with a place and you begin with an idea of a story to tell, but everything is strained through politics, you know.
11:48 pm
life is politics. and because there's money in that, but to actually have something to say. this is making an argument for the city and that's in distinct opposition to one political party that's actually here in new orleans. i guess that's why you're here. i sat just at home and watched the republican convention during the last election. and all that talk about small town values and the real americans, you know, i was in baltimore and i'm concerned with big-city values, because more than 80% of the country lives in metro areas. that jeffersonian i deal of the small town and the egrainer soul of the country, it's gone. it was gone by the end of the 19th century and it's never coming back. and what we're going to figure out as americans, we have to figure out how to live together in cities, compacted, all of us very different from different cultures, races, and persuasions, or we ain't going to make it. and that's really the argument
11:49 pm
that new orleans has been making for most of its life. >> and then, also, is there a monopoly on those values? those values aren't just in the hinderlands, those values are in these neighborhoods that surround this city. when i came back home two years ago, we looked around and said, okay, nobody's coming. if we don't do it ourselves, it won't happen. >> there's a lot going wrong here, and yet people are resistant to the idea of giving up on this city. and the city is their life in a lot of ways, and there are more people here that feel that way about their city than any other place in america. it's remarkable, the individual commitment to the urban life of this place. and it argues for something better. it deserves something better. >> that in spite of the struggle, there's hope and it hasn't killed the spirit. and you know, we understand that that's going to give way to joy and to success and renewal. >> wendel pierce and david simon. coming up, a quick check of today's top headlines, then
11:50 pm
pierce on the powerful role that music plays here in new orleans.
11:51 pm
x and now, cheer presents: next time on "brighten bay"... who's the angel that saved sandy? and more importantly, how does he get his whites so bright? find out with cheer. surprisingly bright at a new lower price.
11:52 pm
11:53 pm
i'm don lemon. here are your headlines. secretary of state hillary clinton visited the polish embassy in washington, expressed condolences to the people of poland for their tragic loss. poland's first lady, the president and nearly 100 other dig tears died in a plane crash in russia. tens of thousands of mourners filled the capitol laying out a sea of flowers and lighted candles out the presidential palace. the president, his body was returned to warsaw. mississippi's governor weighing in over the dustup over confederate history month. virginia governor bob mcdonnell got into hot water when he designated april as con fid rat history month without mention of slavely. mississippi governor called the controversy overblown. >> virginia governor, new virginia governor bob mcdonnell
11:54 pm
designated april as confederate month. something his two democratic press predecessors refrained from doing. this caused quite a stir. particularly because the government did not mention slavery in this proclamation. was that a mistake? >> well, i don't think so. my state legislature has made a legislatively enacted holiday confederate memorial day. done it for years under republican governors and democrat governors and for seven years as governor i have issued a proclamation because of what the legislature's done. my democratic predecessors did so as well. i don't know what you would say about slavery. anybody who thinks you have to explain to people slavery is a bad thing, i think goes without saying. >> there's this sort of feeling that it's incenttive, that you clearly don't agree. >> to me it's a sort of feeling it's not significant, that it's not -- trying to make a big deal out of something that doesn't amount to diddley. >> barber is catching flak for
11:55 pm
those comments. democratic national committee issued a statement saying slavery is a big deal and barber is defending the indefensible. two greats trying to concentrate on golf but with enormous family concerns. phil mickelson, sentimental favorite with wife and mother battling breast cancer picked up third masters title sunday. tiger woods making a return to golf after his personal life reduced to shambles. he finished fourth. it was a tie. those are your headlines this hour. i'm don lemon. keeping you informed. when you pursue an mba at devry university's...
11:56 pm
11:57 pm
11:58 pm
keller graduate school of management, you'll have a professor with you every step of the way. whether you take classes on campus, online, or both, you get the same attention, the same curriculum, and the same quality. 85 locations nationwide and online. discover how to grow the business of you... at keller.edu.
11:59 pm
now our american dispatch. new orleans is a city best known for its culture, cuisine and music. so this week that's where we end. ♪ we really liked wendell pierce's description of the role of music in new orleans. >> the whole music aesthetic here is tied into, you know, the whole blues aesthetic and blues idiom. which is in spite of struggle i will be triumphant.

tv
State of the Union
CNN April 11, 2010 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

News/Business. Candy Crowley.

TOPIC FREQUENCY New Orleans 18, Sarah Palin 12, Palin 10, America 6, Mississippi 6, Us 5, Virginia 4, The City 4, Gingrich 3, Newt Gingrich 3, David Simon 3, Bob Mcdonnell 3, Haley Barbour 3, Michael Steele 3, Wendel Pierce 3, Alaska 3, Sarah 2, Casey 2, Jackson 2, New Virginia 2
Network CNN
Duration 01:00:00
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color


disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 4/12/2010
Views
124